University of Montana, Missoula
Closest Singletrack: Pattee Canyon Trails, 0mi to 1mi, depending on how you access the network
The Pattee Canyon trail system begins right from the town of Missoula, spreading out into a massive network of singletrack that criss crosses the mountains above campus. Also known as University Mountain or Mount Sentinel, these trails served as some of the training grounds for Olympian Sam Schultz, who calls Missoula home. If the snow hasn’t fallen yet, climb higher and access superb alpine singletrack at the Montana Snowbowl ski resort.
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On top of claiming Sam Schultz, Missoula has a highly developed racing pedigree. They’ve played host to the NORBA Nationals, and “will be hosting both the 2017 and 2018 Collegiate MTB National Championships,” according to our writer Jenny Herbold. Earning the honor to host these races is due in part to “an International Cycling Union-sanctioned, World Cup-style course that has brought Olympic hopefuls to races minutes from UM,” according to Justin Grigg, of Missoula. And when the snow falls, there’s plenty of fat biking to be had.
While the University of Montana has 11 distinct colleges and schools, the College of Forestry and Conservation and the School of Journalism may be particularly appealing to mountain bikers. Click here for the full academic catalog.